In this article we will look at how innocent vs guilty people react when accused of cheating, the implications of cheating, and what to do when falsely accused of cheating.
Having your partner accuse you of cheating is a traumatic experience, especially if you have not done anything wrong.
However, many people find themselves in this situation one too many times. When someone accuses you of cheating, it affects the dynamics of the relationship and your reputation, even if you are not cheating.
Similarly, being accused of cheating is stressful for someone who is cheating because they will live in fear of being caught.
Whether they are cheating or not, there are many emotions you can expect from someone if you accuse them of cheating.
It is, therefore, essential to understand how an innocent vs guilty person will react when you accuse them of cheating.
Understanding the difference between the reaction of a guilty and innocent person will help you know what is happening around you.
How Do Innocent People Act When They Are Accused of Cheating?
It can hurt when someone accuses you of cheating when you are innocent. Your partner may accuse you of cheating if they are insecure, cheating, or mistake some of your behaviors for cheating.
According to research, most infidelity cases stem from a lack of trust in relationships. So, if your partner accuses you of cheating, they no longer trust you and may have insecurity issues.
Some of the ways an innocent person reacts when accused of cheating include;
1. Shock and Disbelief
When you accuse an innocent person of cheating, they will genuinely be shocked and taken aback by these accusations.
If your partner has never cheated on you, they will not believe you could even think of them with someone else.
Cheating goes against their beliefs and contradicts their actions and commitment to the relationship.
According to psychologist Dr. Michelle Anderson, innocent individuals are often taken aback and genuinely shocked when accused of cheating.
2. They Are Open To Discussion And Reassurance
When you accuse an innocent person of cheating, they will be open to discussing the accusations and provide honest explanations and reassurances of their faithfulness.
An innocent person will also be open to clarify any misunderstanding that may have led you to believe they are cheating and try to restore trust in the relationship.
For instance, when you accuse your partner of cheating, they will ask you why you think they are cheating.
If you say it is because you snooped through her phone and saw her texting other guys, she will tell you why she was texting them.
For instance, she may be texting them because they have a project together at work that they need constant coordination on.
She will work to straighten out the misunderstandings so you can rebuild trust in the relationship.
An innocent person will also reassure you of their love and commitment to you and the relationship.
3. They Are Defensive and Hurt
When you accuse an innocent person of cheating, they will get defensive because they know they did not do it, but they will also be emotionally hurt.
A person falsely accused of cheating will try to protect their reputation and integrity by explaining what happened when you say they cheated.
It hurts when someone accuses you of something you didn’t do, especially something as serious as being unfaithful.
Therapist Sarah Collins states, “Innocent individuals may initially respond with defensiveness due to the shock and hurt caused by the accusation.”
4. They Feel Betrayed
When you accuse an innocent person of cheating, they will feel betrayed. False accusations, especially of this magnitude, will make you feel betrayed by your partner because you thought your partner trusted you as much as you trusted them.
A person who accuses you of cheating doesn’t trust you. You feel like your partner takes your commitment and feelings for granted.
5. They Will Want To Show Evidence And Alibis
If you accuse an innocent person of cheating, they will defend themselves by showing evidence of what they were doing when you are accusing them of cheating.
They will also want to provide alibis to prove their innocence. An innocent person will have details of what they were doing, whom they were with, and where they were in the timeframes they were accused of cheating.
They will be willing to have you call their friends to confirm their whereabouts because they genuinely desire to clear their name.
6. They Are Angry
If you accuse innocent people of cheating, they will be angry and frustrated. When an innocent person is accused of cheating, they will be angry because you are destroying their reputation.
It is frustrating when someone falsely accuses you. The frustrations will turn to anger because you feel the accuser is being unjust. They will also feel angry because you are questioning their integrity.
An innocent person accused of cheating will be angry at the accuser and anyone who spends the false accusations.
How Do Guilty People Act When They Are Accused of Cheating?
If you accuse a guilty person of cheating, they are bound to react. A cheater may react in many ways if they are guilty, even if they swear they are innocent.
Some of the ways a guilty person will react when accused of cheating are;
1. They Are Defensive And Aggressive
When you accuse a guilty person of cheating, they will get defensive and aggressive. A guilty person will deflect the blame from themselves.
They will always get something to blame the infidelity on; they may even attack the accuser for accusing them.
For instance, if you accuse a guilty person of cheating, they can say they cheated because you were not affectionate to them or say you are no longer passionate and they went to get the passion elsewhere.
A person guilty of cheating will divert attention from themselves and their actions.
2. They Are Nonchalant
A guilty person may adopt an overly calm and nonchalant demeanor as a defense mechanism to mask their guilt.
Instead of being aggressive and defensive, some guilty people will remain cool and act unbothered by the accusations to downplay the allegations and avoid further scrutiny.
When you accuse someone of something, and they act cool, it doesn’t mean they didn’t do it. It could be a ploy to make you let go of the investigations.
Nonchalance is a great way to mask guilt, If you don’t react, they will let it go.
3. They Will Distance Themselves
When faced with accusations, guilty people may choose to distance themselves from their accusers.
So, if you accuse someone of cheating and they physically and emotionally distance themselves from you, they are guilty.
For instance, if you accuse someone of cheating and they stop talking to or being physically intimate with you, they are guilty as sin.
They are avoiding you and distancing themselves from you because they fear confrontation and potential exposure of their infidelity.
4. They Gaslight You
When you accuse a guilty person of cheating, they will gaslight you. Many cheaters are masters of manipulation, they will make you doubt your sanity.
When you accuse a guilty person of cheating, they will deny it and tell you what you saw or heard was nothing. They will use any means necessary to make you doubt your own perceptions.
For instance, a guilty person will tell you you were not thinking straight because you were angry, drunk, or crying when you saw the evidence of their infidelity.
They will make you doubt what you saw if you caught them with their other partner. And will always say, “You are overreacting,” “You are too sensitive,” or “You are being crazy.”
A guilty person will also try to minimize their actions, and if they can’t, they will cast doubts on the legitimacy of the accusation.
5. They Stonewall You
Many people have been through this when they accuse someone of cheating. When a guilty person is accused of cheating, they will avoid answering any questions about their actions.
Guilty persons will give half-truths or fully withhold information about their actions and whereabouts.
Trying to talk to someone guilty of cheating is the same as talking to a stone wall; you won’t get much out of them.
Dr. Emily Turner explains that stonewalling is an attempt of the guilty person to protect themselves and prevent further scrutiny of their actions.
6. They lie
A person guilty of cheating will lie through their teeth when caught, they will give you all manner of stories to try and cover up the truth about their infidelity.
For instance, I once dated this guy and went to his house unannounced. We hung out for a while, and I went to the bedroom to freshen up and get into comfortable clothes.
I went to pick a pair of slippers and was met by a pair of shoes three sizes bigger than me.
I was obviously confused and asked him about the shoes; he said they were his sisters, and she came to visit and left them.
The only problem is, I know his sister’s shoe size, and these were too big for her too. I called him out on his infidelity and walked out, never to look back again.
7. They Try To Hide Evidence
When a guilty person is accused of cheating, they will try to conceal evidence of their infidelity. For instance, if you see them texting someone, they will try to delete the incriminating texts.
Moreover, a guilty person will also try to hide any objects that may prove they are cheating. For example, if their other partner’s clothes are in the house, they will try to hide them from you.
Additionally, a guilty partner will always try to cover their tracks and get false alibis to back their stories.
They may ask their friends to provide fake alibis when you ask them about their whereabouts.
8. They Panic
When you accuse a guilty person of cheating, they may panic. When you have done something wrong, you fear getting caught.
So, if you accuse a guilty person of cheating, they will be anxious and worried about how you will react.
They will also fear what the consequences of their actions may be. The panic may present in many ways, including trembling, sweating, fumbling with their words, or sudden outburst of emotions.
For instance, if you catch someone cheating, you may want to end the relationship or at least take a break until you evaluate the relationship.
The guilty person may panic because they don’t want to lose you even if they cheat. A guilty person realizing they have been caught may start apologizing.
The Effects Of False Accusations In A Relationship
Undeniably, it hurts when someone falsely accuses you of cheating in a relationship. There are many effects of false accusations in a relationship. Some of the effects include;
- Anger– when your partner falsely accuses you of cheating, you will be angry at him for even thinking you could cheat.
- Fear– when falsely accused of cheating, you will fear what your partner thinks about you. Moreover, you will worry that your partner will cheat back to get even with you even if you didn’t cheat.
- Uncertainty– if your partner falsely accuses you of cheating, you will always live in uncertainty; you will be afraid they will walk away from the relationship.
- Helplessness– when you are falsely accused of cheating, you may feel helpless because you don’t know how to regain your partner’s trust.
- Self-doubt– when your partner accuses you of cheating, you may start doubting your reality of how you perceive things. You will always second guess yourself before doing anything lest your partner say you are cheating.
- Resentment– when your partner keeps on falsely accusing you, you will harbor feelings of resentment towards them.
- Loneliness and distrust– if your partner falsely accuses you of cheating, you will feel lonely in the relationship because your partner distrusts you. You will also feel betrayed because you feel your partner should know you better.
What To Do When You’re Falsely Accused Of Cheating
Being falsely accused of cheating is frustrating, and if it happens to you, you want to correct the narrative as soon as possible.
There are several things you can do when you are falsely accused of cheating; they include;
1. Speak When Calm
When someone accuses you of cheating, it is natural for your accuser to be angry. Moreover, you will also be defensive and hurt; however, you should wait until you are calm to speak.
Talking when both of you are triggered may be overwhelming, and you may say things you don’t mean. So, wait for your partner to calm down before talking to them.
When someone accuses you of cheating, you should ask questions, ask them how they know you are cheating or what leads them to believe you are cheating.
Calmly listen to what they say before you start defending yourself.
2. Clarify The Boundaries
There are some things your partner may consider cheating that you don’t. If this is the case, clarify what cheating is in your relationship.
So, if you have different perceptions of cheating, clarify what you consider cheating in the relationship.
For instance, is going out with a guy friend cheating, texting your baby daddy, or going on a work trip with your hot colleague cheating?
If you set up conditions, they should apply to both partners. If there are imbalances in the relationship, it will create mistrust.
3. Address The Underlying Issues
So, why is your partner accusing you of cheating? Are they insecure? Are they cheating? Have you cheated before?
When your partner accuses you of cheating, understand and address the underlying issues. If they are insecure, deal with the insecurity to avoid accusations in the future.
If your partner constantly falsely accuses you of cheating, you may need to leave the relationship.
You deserve someone who trusts you enough to know you will not cheat on them and to trust you when you tell them you didn’t cheat.
Infidelity is a cause of major problems in relationships. However, sometimes you may be accused of cheating when you are innocent.
An innocent person will react in many ways when falsely accused of cheating. Some ways an innocent person will react when accused of cheating include; anger, shock and disbelief, defensiveness, and hurt.
Moreover, if you accuse someone falsely of cheating, they will feel betrayed, want to give reassurances and provide evidence and alibis to show they are not cheating.
On the other hand, when a guilty person is accused of cheating, they will gaslight you, lie, be defensive and aggressive, stonewall you, and try to hide evidence.
False accusations have many implications on the relationship, including anger, resentment, anxiety, self-doubt, helplessness, and uncertainty.
If you are falsely accused of cheating, you should speak when calm, clarify the relationship boundaries, address the underlying issues, and leave if the partner doesn’t change.
Photo by Polina Zimmermanm on pexels.com
Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.